Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Bazaar Foods Star Visits West Virginia

I just finished watching one of my favorite shows on the Travel channel: "Bazaar Foods With Andrew Zimmern". Tonight's episode was my all time favorite. Andrew visited different Appalachian towns and partook of traditional mountain, natural, and even authentic Cherokee foods. I was born in a small, southern West Virginia town and lived in the mountain community the first two years of my life. I've been a "city girl" ever since, only visiting my birth place and relatives during summer or holiday vacations. Each and every time I go to the mountains, my soul is stirred and I feel as though I'm under some type of enchantment. There is something that speaks to me from the sound of the babbling creeks or the crickets at night. The cool night air is so refreshing. It's quite a treat to be able to sleep with my bedroom window OPENED!!! I'm proud to have my roots in such an enchanted place!

Andrew's first stop for tonight's show was in Helvetia, W.V., a small Swiss village I had never heard of. I was aware that many Germans had settled in the mountains of W.V. My paternal grandfather was of German descent. My maiden name was Riffe. I've often commented that some of the architecture and music in the area where my relatives live in southern W.V. remind me of Swiss or Scottish/Irish origins.

Andrew also visited a family of The Cherokee Nation which was right up my alley. My dad's great grandma was full Cherokee. I got chills during the show tonight when I heard the grandma of the clan ask God's blessing on the food in her native Cherokee tongue! The cooking for the family get together was cooked in a most authentic way. Johnny Sue, the hostess, has a modern kitchen but continues to use recipes and methods of days gone by. Bear meat, venison, and fish caught near the home were on the menu.

I know my sister will find these links enjoyable.

Helvetia, WestVirginia
Wikipedia Helvetia, WestVirginia


Jungle Mom said...

How neat!

MightyMom said...

ok, so first I made sure you had comment moderation...this is one of those that I"m guessing you WON'T publish --don't feel bad, Rita does that to me all the time haha.

Hubby knew a sailor once from that area....his wife pulled out her toothpick one day....it was an opossum's weiner, dried and stiffened. I.kid.you.not. mountain folk are fun! but I'm from the bayou. we also eat whatever crawls through the yard...frog legs, crawfish, turtle soup, gator tail...and such. ;-)

Jungle Mom said...

Oh MM! you know I love you!

Pat said...

Well, Pam, you and Rita are 1/24 Cherokee a/k/a native American. AND, that entitles you to benefits!! (At least that is waht a neighbor of mine is claiming)...

So, .........Check it out!!

I loved this post....me being the mountain woman I am, I love the sights, smells, and the excitement I feel when in the mountians. We are going in about a month!!

And, we ate squirrel, rabbit, our pet chickens, and anything else that fed a family of ten!! Mother called the otherr day and said "I want branch creeses....they are about an inch above the crik..." and then she hung up...
I knew what she meant and my mouth started watering for them and cornbread slathered with butter!! MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

And we refer to them as BMW's!! (big mountain women!!)Gotta love it!!

Baptist Girl said...

Hi Pam,
I am just going around and wishing all my blog Moms HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO YOU ALL! I pray you have a wonderful day!


Pam said...

Yep Pat, your neighbor is correct! Rita has done extensive research on this. We need to have our dad get a DNA test to start the process.

Jodi said...

OOh, I was up very late nursing the baby one night this week and hubby was working until after midnight, so Brian (my 18 y.o.) decided to sit up with me just for fun and we watched this show. I was born a North Carolina gal, and I guess my roots run deep 'cause I loved this show! They ran another show right after this one with him in Maine. Couldn't have been more perfect since Brian was born in Maine. Andrew ate beaver and beans in that one (along with his lobster - of course!) ;o)

MightyMom said...

tee hee hee hee hee, I'm so thrilled you POSTED that comment!!


Rita, I love you too, and I know that you must be careful ;-)